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News | May 11, 2024

NORAD celebrates 66 years of excellence

By John Ingle North American Aerospace Defense Command Public Affairs

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. – American industrialist Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

North American Aerospace Defense Command, a binational partnership between the United States and Canada, has been moving forward in unison since May 12, 1958, successfully accomplishing the common purpose of continental defense. NORAD leadership and personnel celebrated the organization’s decades of service during a 66th Anniversary event May 10, 2024.

Royal Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Blaise F. Frawley, NORAD deputy commander and presiding officer over the ceremony, said NORAD’s creation 66 years ago formed a centralized control of air defense against the Soviet Union, the single greatest threat to North America at that time. A biproduct of the binational union, he said, was a new era of increased military cooperation to face the growing threat.

“But we’re more than just friends across the 49th parallel. We are a team. We monitor the seas and skies together. We crew aircraft together. We train and exercise together. We also live, and strive, and grieve together.”

Frawley said NORAD’s ability to adapt has enabled it to remain relevant in its mission. But the ability to adapt is a reflection of the men and women who staff NORAD at all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year.

“I would like to take the opportunity to recognize our NORAD personnel responsible for standing operational watch 24 hours a day, every day, without expectation of public recognition,” he said. “Thank you all, and your families, for all that you do in support of our noblest of missions – defending our homelands.”

During the celebration, Marine Sgt. Maj. James Porterfield, NORAD and USNORTHCOM senior enlisted leader, and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chole Serafin, the organization’s junior member, performed the ceremonial cake cutting to officially commemorate NORAD’s 66th.

Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command commander, commented that the celebration recognized the men and women who have served in the command over the past 66 years.

“On NORAD’s anniversary it is good to remember the outstanding work NORAD personnel have delivered for the United States and Canada every day for 66 years,” he said. “Now more than ever, we value the commitment of our Canadian and U.S. personnel, military and civilian, who defend the homelands. They continue NORAD’s proud legacy in the honorable homeland defense mission as they face challenging threats, in all domains, and approaching from all vectors..”